Carpe Diem Emmie

A Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel Blogger focusing on the Midlands and beyond.

Hi I'm Emmie!

I'm a 28 year old Lifestyle, Theatre + Travel Blogger showcasing the best of the Midlands and Beyond. You’ll find me talking about theatre companies, reviewing shows, showcasing the best of food in the Midlands + discussing books, mental health + other things I enjoy too.

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REVIEW | A Christmas Carol, RSC

Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB, UK
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC

A Christmas Carol
RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon
★★

This is the first time I've ever visited Stratford-upon-Avon's iconic RSC and I was delighted to visit for the much-loved story of A Christmas Carol. It's the second time that RSC brought this festive tale to their audiences and it's the perfect production for a festive trip to the theatre. 

David Edgar has adapted the festive tale of redemption and compassion in a way I hadn't seen before, it is a wonderful production of a story told many times but doesn't stray away from an important message. The iconic tale from Dickens is told through the eyes of the author himself, he takes centrefold in directing us through the story and it works so brilliantly. The RSC has a very intimate stage that makes you feel as though you are part of the action. The strong design brings Victorian Britain to life and really is a visual delight for the audiences. 

Taking on the leading role is Aden Gillett, I have seen many actors take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge through TV and stage but his performance is superb and definitely one of the best I've seen. His performance is effortless in capturing his bad-tempered soul, stage presence and some natural wit too. Gillett occasionally breaks down the fourth wall which is received well and causes a lot of laughter with the audience.  There's something remarkable about watching Scrooge develop into a kinder man and how Gillett portrays this in his own way.

The story is narrated by Joseph Timms in the role of Charles Dicken, alongside him is his editor Bruce Khan. Collectively they bring bags of energy and character to the story as they take themselves in and out of the scenes when Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Khan and Timms often take on the roles of different characters in the story too and this blends really well into the production. The ghosts bring out different elements of Scrooge's character and the lighting really enhanced those chilling scenes. Danielle Henry's portrayal as the Ghost of Christmas Present is really unique. She gives the character sass and attitude that is excellent. 

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC

The poor Cratchit family has a huge focus in the story as we see a family who is struggling to make ends meet in order to eat. Gerard Carey takes on the role of Father of the house Bob Cratchit and his characterism throughout the production is exceptional, particularly in the second act when we see him become a more fiery character when he stands up to Scrooge. 

The transitions between each scene flow naturally from the bustling town to Scrooge's empty home. The transitions were sometimes extravagant and really showed us the exceptional heights the RSC goes to with their productions. The production wouldn't be without a brilliant ensemble to help bring it to life and the RSC ensemble is no different. The ensemble executes moving the set with them and they don't distract us from what we're supposed to be experiencing in this story. 
There's no doubt about it that A Christmas Carol is a must-see during the festive period. It's an iconic story full of festive cheer and the RSC does it with excellent acting. The set is cleverly lavish and the production becomes musical with choreography and a carol or two. The combination of different theatrical elements creates an unforgettable production of Dickens' story that will be hard to beat. 
A Christmas Carol is performing at The RSC until 20 January. Book your tickets for this production or check out their 2019 season here. 

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